Cubs manager Dale Sveum pulled Starlin Castro from Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the rival Cardinals after the shortstop took a lackadaisical approach to a fifth-inning infield fly, allowing a run to score. But Castro is back in action for Sunday’s series finale and Sveum is ready to put the incident behind him.
“The way I look at it is obviously, he had enough punishment, if that’s the right word or not, but I think to be embarrassed on national TV and what has been written in the paper today, I think that’s plenty enough,” Sveum told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat on Sunday. “These kind of things happen from time to time, they’re getting less and less. I don’t think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity that we all go through in the game.”
Castro is batting just .244/.278/.345 in 122 games this season, which has made his defensive miscues stand out even more. If you want a replay of that botched play from Saturday, follow this link (it’s not embeddable).
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.